Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • CAIR-FL Condemns Shooting of Sikh Man in Possible Hate Crime
  • Help Needed with University Study of Muslims and Health Care
    Please task a few minutes to help with a research study on perceived discrimination among Muslims in the U.S. health care setting, the researchers are very close to their target number of completed surveys. This research will help health care providers understand what is important to Muslims when they use health care services and aims to increase understanding about how to provide care to Muslims that is meaningful and satisfactory. Your responses will be kept completely confidential. Take the survey here.
    DC: CAIR Reps to Join SCOTUS Rally in Support of Voting Rights
    (WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/26/13) -- On Wednesday, February 27, representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization, will join members of Congress and others at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., to show support for the Voting Rights Act.
    Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in "Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder" on the constitutionality of Section 5 of the act, which requires states with a history of voter discrimination to obtain federal clearance before changing state voting laws.
    SEE: Challenge to the Voting Rights Act Reaches Supreme Court (ABC)
    Members of the "Quad Caucus," leaders from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, will speak at a news conference prior to the rally.
    WHAT: Supreme Court Rally to Protect the Voting Rights Act
    WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (News Conference at 8:30 a.m., Rally Begins at 9 a.m.)
    WHERE: U.S. Supreme Court Building, 1 First St. NE, Washington, D.C.
    CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857,
    In a statement of support for the 1965 Voting Rights Acts, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
    "For more than 40 years, the Voting Rights Act has protected the rights of African Americans, American Muslims and other minority voters. Now is not the time to let down our guard in defending the bedrock of democracy -- the right to vote."
    CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
    Video: CAIR Director Joins Supreme Court Rally in Support of Voting Rights
    CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad today joined members of Congress and other civil rights leaders at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., to show support for the Voting Rights Act.
    CAIR Rep Takes Part in DC Muslim-Media Roundtable
    CAIR-NY Backs Calls for Removal of 'Blackface' Assemblyman from Leadership Position
    (NEW YORK, NY, 2/27/13) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today joined other community leaders in calling for the removal of New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind from his position as assistant majority leader following his appearance at a party in "blackface."

    SEE: Black Leaders Call for Blackface Assemblyman to Resign From Leadership Post

    Critics say Hikind, assemblyman for District 48 in Brooklyn, has a history of supporting racist and offensive positions.

    In 2001, he launched rhetorical attacks on a mayoral candidate who received the endorsement of a coalition of American Muslim organizations.

    In 2007, Hikind was "at the forefront" of the campaign to shut down an Arabic language public school. (Jerusalem Post, 8/15/07)

    In 2005 and 2010, Hikind also supported racial profiling bills that would allow law enforcement to use someone's race and ethnicity as reasonable suspicion when looking at Arab, South Asian and Muslim men.

    SEE: NY Assemblyman Calls for Ethnic Profiling Bill

    More recently, Hikind claimed students at Brooklyn College are terrorist sympathizers, and called members of the college administration cowards for hosting an event focused on Palestinian human rights.

    SEE: Bloomberg Backs Brooklyn College Over BDS Event

    "An elected official who believes there is nothing wrong with dressing up as a 'black person' by painting his face, wearing an afro wig and donning a basketball jersey is clearly out of touch with mainstream American values," said CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad. "These disturbing stereotypes are the root cause of racist and discriminatory policies that plague our societies to this day."
  • 29 Anti-Islam Bills Introduced Nationwide in 2013
    This year's batch of bans of sharia/international law use by state courts looks very different than those of the past several years. After criticism that a) past versions would effectively cripple businesses who have to sign international contracts and b) that bans on references to the law and court decisions of other nations would make the judicial determinations of tribal courts in the U.S. enforceable, most such bills have been completely rewritten. Specifically, most now specify the prohibition on the use of foreign law/sharia.
  • Va. DMV Says 'ICUHAJI' License Plate May Encourage Violence
    In a letter from the DMV to Bujno, the agency said the tag - it can be read, "I see you, haji" - condones or encourages violence and is obscene or otherwise vulgar in nature.
  • CAIR-MN Calls for Tolerance Training in Schools After Spat Becomes Brawl
  • MN: When Humor Goes Wrong -- the Hijab Costume Controversy
  • DC: CAIR Rep to Moderate Anti-Bullying Discussion at Busboys & Poets
  • CAIR Job Opening in DC: Multimedia Coordinator
  • Congressman Says Guns Needed to Protect Nation from Sharia
    Tea Party Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told a conservative radio show on Thursday that the GOP must oppose gun regulations to protect the country from the threat of "Sharia Law."
  • CAIR-FL Action Alert: House Committee to Vote on Anti-Islam Bill
  • CAIR-MN Charges FBI Harassment of Director Lori Saroya
  • CAIR-MD: Support Bill that Protects from Detention Without Trial
  • CAIR Cries Foul on SNL's Parody of 'Django Unchained' (AP)
  • CAIR-WA Files Complaint Over Alleged Anti-Muslim Comments
  • CAIR-OK, Islamic Society to Host Discussion on Malcolm X
  • Islamophobia Watch: Ban Burqas to Stop Imaginary Crime Wave, Says Daniel Pipes
    CAIR Condemns Bombing, Sectarianism in Pakistan
    (WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/21/13) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today sent a letter to Pakistan's ambassador in Washington, D.C., to condemn a recent deadly bomb attack in that nation and to offer support for efforts to promote pluralism.
    In his letter to Ambassador Sherry Rehman, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
    "I wish to express the American Muslim community's condemnation of the recent bomb attack on Pakistan's Shia Hazara community that killed more than 80 people and injured many more.
    "American Muslims repudiate the destructive and un-Islamic sectarian ideology that leads to these types of tragedies. We stand with you and with all those in Pakistan who seek a society based not on sectarian divisions, but instead on freedom and justice for every citizen, regardless of their background or beliefs.
    "We look forward to seeing more measures put in place to help prevent sectarian provocation and violence.
    "Please let me know how we can assist you in your efforts to promote pluralism, tolerance and mutual understanding."
    CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
  • Radically Wrong: Terrorism Isn't an American Muslim Problem (ACLU)
    Terrorism is not a "Muslim" phenomenon. Indeed, last year, the author of the report called terrorism by American Muslims "a minuscule threat to public safety." Yet far too many policymakers assume the opposite is true, and too many policies are predicated on the false and bigoted assumption that Muslims are more likely to engage in terrorism than other Americans. The numbers above show how false the premise is. So why are we willing to undermine civil liberties, target an entire religious community, and devote countless resources to this "minuscule threat?"
  • CAIR-OK: Muslim Air Force Vet Again Barred from Flight
    A Muslim U.S. Air Force veteran who had trouble entering the country last year to visit his terminally ill mother was barred again Saturday from trying to return home to Qatar, the second time this month that he's been prohibited from boarding a flight in Oklahoma City because his name appears on a government no-fly list.
  • Georgetown Tenure Denial Incites Backlash
    Students, alumni and professors have banded together to petition Georgetown's July decision to deny tenure to the School of Foreign Service's assistant professor of Arab politics Samer Shehata.
  • Video: CAIR-MD Testifies at Hearing on Bill to Prohibit Indefinite Detention
  • CAIR: Anti-Islam Law Makes its Way Through Florida Legislature
    In a re-run from last year, the Florida House Judiciary Committee gave its approval Thursday to HB 351, the "Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases," according to the Florida House website. The bill's proponents simply call it the "Anti-Sharia Law."
  • NV: Reward Offered in Fire at Muslim Mortuary Construction Site
  • WATCH: CAIR Video News Update
    Topics Include: CAIR-MN Calls for Mediation, Training to Resolve Race-Related Issues at High School | CAIR-WA Calls on DOJ to Probe Teacher's Anti-Muslim Comments | CAIR-SFBA Questions FBI's Tactics Targeting Man with Mental Health Issues | CAIR Rep Appears on MSNBC to Discuss Muslims Placed on No-Fly List | CAIR Expresses Concern About SNL Skit with Offensive Portrayal of Jesus (pbuh) | CAIR's Efforts to Challenge Anti-Muslim Stereotypes Prompts Attempt at Humor on Comedy Central | CAIR Expresses Best Wishes to Retiring Pope
  • BREAKING: Shooter May Have Thought Fla. Sikh Was from Middle East
    Khalsa said his organization believes the attack on Saturday night just after 11 p.m. was a hate crime because the shooters probably thought Singh ­ an American citizen of Indian descent ­- is from the Middle East. (Read more)
  • CAIR Launches New Website with Added Content
    CAIR today launched an updated website with new features and content. Please visit our site and share it with your friends and family. Some features of the new website. ... (Read more)
  • CAIR Co-Hosts Convening of Civil Rights Activists in Cleveland
    (CLEVELAND, OH - 2/25/13) - The Cleveland Chapter on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cleveland) and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, along with other groups, recently convened an organizing forum for more than 50 community activists from across the greater Cleveland area. (Read more)
    CAIR-WA Welcomes New County Policy Allowing Hijab in Jails, Courts
    Muslim civil rights group launches new initiative to meet with sheriffs and police chiefs to discuss model policy, introduce Muslim leaders
    (SEATTLE, WA, 2/25/13) - The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) today welcomed a new policy in King County that permits Muslim religious headscarves, or hijab, in all jails and courthouses.
    Based on CAIR-WA's recommendations, King County has adopted a new policy that also requires pat downs to be performed by an officer of the same gender.
    In November 2011, CAIR-WA contacted King County about an incident in which a Muslim woman was forced to remove her headscarf during a one-night stay in jail and was forced to appear in court without it the following morning. Before being booked, the woman was also given a pat down by a male officer while a female officer was present. She described the experience as humiliating and degrading, a similar feeling to being forced to remove all articles of clothing except undergarments in the presence of men.
    On January 11, 2013, the new policy was signed into effect by King County Director of the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, Claudia Balducci. King County is the first in Washington to adopt new policies that explicitly allow for religious headwear. As it is the largest county in Washington, the new policy will set an example for other counties in the state.
    "We are pleased by the decision of King County to allow constitutionally-protected religious freedom in detention centers, jails, and courthouses" said CAIR-WA Civil Rights Coordinator Jennifer Gist. "We look forward to using this model policy to assist other counties and police departments in similarly amending policies on religious headscarves and pat downs."
    Gist said CAIR-WA is launching a new initiative to meet with various sheriffs and police chiefs statewide to discuss the model policy and to introduce key leaders from the Muslim community in their area.
    CAIR offers an educational toolkit, called "A Correctional Institution's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," to help correctional officers gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.
    The Muslim civil rights group also publishes a booklet that outlines general information about Islamic beliefs that are relevant to law enforcement agencies.

    SEE: A Law Enforcement Official's Guide to the Muslim Community
  • CAIR-St. Louis Welcomes University's Decision Not to Hire Gitmo Psychologist
    CAIR-St. Louis welcomed the University of Missouri College of Education's decision not to hire Dr. Larry James as division executive director. CAIR-St. Louis led an effort, along with the Muslim Student Organization (MSO) and a group of university faculty and students, to raise concerns about the controversial military psychologist who worked at both Guantanamo and Abu Graib prisons.
  • Islamophobia Watch: Arizona Tea Party to Host Anti-Islam Speaker
  • Watch: CAIR's Latest Annual Video
    CAIR Deplores Violent Depiction of Jesus in SNL Skit

    (WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/19/13) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today deplored the violent depiction of Jesus in a recent NBC "Saturday Night Live" (SNL) skit.
    According to NBC's description of the skit: "In Quentin Tarantino's new historical revenge thriller, 'DJesus Uncrossed,' Jesus emerges from his tomb and has the Romans on his radar."
    NBC VIDEO: New Tarantino Movie
    In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
    "Such misrepresentation of what Jesus, peace be upon him, stands for is extremely offensive to Muslims and to all those who believe in his message. While we understand the use of shocking imagery and bizarre juxtapositions to provoke a humorous response, we believe such a distasteful portrayal of a religious figure revered by billions of Muslims and Christians worldwide crosses the comedic line.
    "We strongly support free speech rights for all, but one would hope that common decency and respect for the beliefs of others would help avoid such unfortunate depictions."
    Awad noted that many people are unaware that Muslims revere and love Jesus as one of God's greatest messengers. Every time Muslims mention Jesus' name, they add "peace be upon him."
    The Quran, Islam's revealed text, states: "Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God gives thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'" (3:45)
    The Quran depicts Jesus speaking from the cradle and, with God's permission, curing lepers and the blind. (5:110) God also states in the Quran: "We gave (Jesus) the Gospel and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers." (57:27)
    Islam's Prophet Muhammad called Jesus God's "spirit and word" and once said: "Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one." (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
    CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    CAIR-WA to Seek DOJ Probe of Teacher's Anti-Islam Comments
    Muslim civil rights groups says teacher's comments encourage 'atmosphere conducive to bullying'

    (SEATTLE, WA, 2/18/2013) – On Tuesday, February 19, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) will hold a news conference at its offices in Seattle to call on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate possible unlawful religious discrimination in Concrete School District.

    WHAT: CAIR-WA News Conference to Announce Call for DOJ Probe of Teacher's Anti-Islam Bias
    WHEN: Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 10 a.m.
    WHERE: CAIR-WA office, 316 Maynard Avenue South, Suite 112A, Seattle, WA
    CONTACT: CAIR-WA Civil Rights Coordinator Jennifer Gist, 206-367-4081, 303-204-6004. E-Mail: (READ MORE)
    CAIR-MN Seeks Mediation, Training to Resolve Racial Issues at School 

    (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 2/18/13) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on Minneapolis South High School to utilize mediation and multi-cultural competency training to help remedy race-related issues at the school after a brawl reportedly between Somali and African-American students erupted at the school on February 14, 2013.

    SEE: Food Fight Erupts Into Melee (Star Trib)

    In a February 15 letter, CAIR-MN asked South High School administrators to provide the peer mediation and multi-cultural competency trainings to create a safe community for learning and growing.

    "Racial and religious tensions in the community often manifest in schools and need to be taken very seriously," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya"All students must have a safe learning environment."

    On January 11, 2013, African-American students reported feeling unsafe at Washburn High School after a hate incident involving a dark-skinned doll that was hung by a string at the school.

    SEE: Activists Want Disclosure in Mpls. Washburn High Doll Incident

    Last year, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) reached a federal agreement with Owatonna and St. Cloud Public Schools after CAIR-MN asked for an investigation into the harassment of Somali Muslim students.

    SEE: CAIR-MN Asks DOE to Address Racial Tensions in Minn. Schools

    Saroya said CAIR-MN is launching a new program that will include community dialogues on shared civil rights experiences among minority communities in Minnesota.

    CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

    • CAIRVirginia Talk Opposing Hijab Draws Objection (Wash. Post)
      Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR, said holding the meeting at a school would send the wrong message.
    • CAIR: Saadiq Long, Finally Allowed to Fly to US, Now Banned from Flying Out
      Long and his CAIR lawyers have thus far been told nothing about why he is barred once again from flying.
    • CAIR-MN: Second St. Paul Cop Depicted Wearing Muslim Hijab
      Although St. Paul officials have not commented on whether the officer is wearing blackface makeup, many community members believe he is, said Lori Saroya, executive director of the Minnesota Chapter of [CAIR].
    • Video: CAIR News Update
      Topics Include: CAIR-MI Welcomes Gun Shop's Decision to Stop Selling 'Muslim' Target | CAIR-OK Assists Muslim Placed on No-Fly List | CAIR-St. Louis Speaks Against Hiring of Former Gitmo Doc | CAIR-MN Challenged Stereotypes in Police 'Hijab' Photo | CAIR Supports Campaign to Reclaim True Meaning of 'Jihad' | On O'Reilly Factor, CAIR Challenges Stereotypical Images in TV Ads | CAIR-TX Hosts Muslim Day at Capitol Despite threats | CAIR-WA Sponsors Meetings with Elected Officials | CAIR-MD Protests Pamela Geller's Hate Speech | Allen West Helps Raise Funds for CAIR-FL
    CAIR-NJ Seeks Hate Crime Probe of Graffiti at Muslim Student Group's Office
    (SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 2/9/13) ­- The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate anti-Muslim graffiti found on a Muslim student group's office door as a hate crime.
    CAIR-NJ said someone drew an image of planes hitting the World Trade Center on the door of the Muslim Student Association office in the Montclair State University student center. The university's Bias Response Team is looking into the incident.
    "State and federal law enforcement authorities should treat this hate incident with the seriousness it deserves," said CAIR-NJ Chair Nadia Kahf"No student should have to face this kind of intimidation and intolerance while they are seeking to better themselves and their society through study."

    CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding

    • Audio: Creating America's War on Terror (CAIR)
      Investigative journalist Trevor Aaronson documents how the FBI is hiring thousands of informants to infiltrate American Muslim communities and strike up conversations with anyone they believe might harbor a terrorist thought. If all goes according to plan, these would-be radicals agree to carry out a violent plot - a plot they wouldn't be able to pull off without government help.
      • Video: Alleged Bomber Suffers from Mental Illness (CAIR-SFBA)
        Zahra Billoo, executive director of [CAIR-SFBA], said that this smells of entrapment  and is especially upsetting because the defendant has mental health issues. "Did the FBI take a [mentally ill] aspirational terrorist, make him an operational terrorist and then thwart their own plot?" Billoo asked. 
      • NY Times Editorial: Spying on Law-Abiding Muslims
        [T]he New York City police routinely selected Muslim groups for surveillance and infiltration, even when they did not sponsor unlawful or terrorist acts and were not accused of contributing to them.
    • CAIR: Cancer Patient Denied Service Over Miss. Water Office's No-Hats RuleThe story may sound bizarre, but "no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses," has become a common policy at banks around the country. ... A branch of Valley National Bank in Tulsa, Okla., caught national attention late last year for barring a Muslim woman from entering the bank while wearing a hijab, a type of religious head covering. Bank officials said she could enter only with an escort, sparking outcry from civil rights groups, including [CAIR].
    • CAIR-Chicago: Too Old for Arranged Marriage, But Still Longs to Find Love
      The custom of arranging marriages is centuries old and crosses many cultures, said Aymen Abdel Halim, a spokesman for CAIR-Chicago, an organization that promotes and protects civil rights for and among Arab-Americans.
    • MI: Hamtramck Mosques Spark Fight (Detroit News)
    • John Brennan Is a Secret Muslim, Says Anti-Islam Activist
      • AL: 'The Only Time You'll See a Muslim Kiss a Pig'
        The message contained a picture of President Obama kissing Democratic U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi on the cheek, with a caption that read "The only time you'll see a Muslim kiss a pig."
    • As Islam Grows, U.S. Imams in Short Supply (NPR)

    U.S. Muslim Group Offers 'Best Wishes' to Resigning Pope, Seeks Positive Relations with New Pontiff
    (WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/11/13) -- The nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization today offered "best wishes" to Pope Benedict XVI following hisannounced resignation and expressed a desire for continued positive relations between American Muslims and the Roman Catholic Church under his successor.
    In a statement reacting to Pope Benedict's decision to step down at the end of this month, Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
    "We offer the American Muslim community's best wishes to Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves his position as head of the Roman Catholic Church.
    "In recent years -- and despite some passing controversies -- relations between Muslims and Catholics have strengthened, particularly on issues related to social justice and family values.
    "We look forward to continued and growing positive interfaith relations under the new pontiff as Muslims in the United States and worldwide join with people of all faiths and cultures who seek to make a better world."
    [CAIR NOTE: Later today, Nihad Awad will discuss the pope's resignation on "To the Point," a one-hour daily national program co-produced by KCRW and Public Radio International.]
    Awad noted that in 2009, CAIR welcomed Pope Benedict's expression of respect for Islam and Muslims as he began his first trip to the Middle East.
    In 2008, representatives of CAIR met with Pope Benedict at an interfaith gathering in Washington, D.C.
    In 2007, CAIR's Awad was a signatory, along with 137 other Muslim leaders and scholars, to an open letter titled "A Common Word Between Us and You," which was sent to Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and more than 20 other Christian leaders.
    The open letter was designed to promote understanding between Muslims and Christians worldwide. It stated in part: "[L]et our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works. Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to (one) another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill."
    CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
    CAIR Offers Condolences on Passing of Former Diplomat Richard H. Curtiss
    (WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/12/13) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today offered condolences to the family and friends of Richard H. Curtiss (1927-2013) who died in Maryland on January 31.
    Curtiss, former chief inspector of the United States Information Agency (USIS), was executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and was considered a great friend of the American Muslim and Arab-American communities. (Read more)
    CAIR-MN Reps to Meet Muslim Returning Home After Being Stranded Abroad
    Mohamed Farah scheduled to arrive at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Today
    (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 2/12/13) - On Tuesday, February 12, 2013 representatives of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) will meet Mohamed Farah, a Muslim United States citizen of Somali heritage stranded abroad for a month, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

    WHAT: CAIR-MN Reps to Meet Muslim Returning Home After Being Stranded Abroad
    WHEN: Tuesday, February 12. United Airlines Flight 3527; Arrival time is 7:02 p.m.
    WHERE: Baggage Claim, Terminal I, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
    CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700,

    On January 9, 2013, Farah was scheduled to board an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Nairobi, Kenya, to the United States. When Farah attempted to secure his boarding pass, he was told that he would not be allowed to fly, and that this denial was at the request of the United States government.

    Farah filed a complaint with the American Embassy in Kenya, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL). He also filed a TRIP request -- all to no avail.   

    In a February 4, 2013, letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec, CAIR-MN attorneys stated that they are "deeply concerned that the United States is unlawfully preventing an American citizen from returning to the United States by making it impossible for him to board a flight from Kenya."

    SEE: CAIR-MN Asks Feds to Allow Muslim Citizen to Return to Minnesota

    On February 8, 2013, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi issued a letter stating: "Mr. Mohamed Farah, an American citizen...was denied boarding on an Ethiopian Air flight from JKIA to the United States on January 9, 2013. In the intervening time, the U.S. Government has reviewed his case. It is the consensus of the U.S. Government that he was wrongly denied boarding, and that we have no objection to his returning to the United States via air travel at his earliest possible convenience."

    On February 11, 2013, Farah was allowed to board a flight to the United States. His arrival time is 7:02pm on February 12, 2013 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

    "We are pleased that Mr. Farah can exercise his right to return home," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya. "There's no justification in denying an American citizen entry into the United States for a month, without due process."

    Saroya said Farah, who is the main financial provider for his family, risked losing his job due to his absence.

    Following intervention by CAIR-OK a U.S. citizen and Air Force veteran living in Qatar, was recently allowed to return to the United States. He had been struggling to return home for six months after being denied boarding on previous flights to visit his terminally-ill mother.

    SEE: Muslim Returns to Oklahoma After Being on U.S. 'No-Fly' List

    CAIR, a Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization, has dealt with a number of similar cases nationwide in which Muslim citizens are prevented from returning to the United States or faced government coercion when seeking to return home.

    Video: CAIR Assists NY Muslim Stranded Overseas by No-Fly List
    Video: CAIR Works to Help Calif. Muslim on No-Fly List Return Home
    Student Takes Long Way Home After 'No-Fly' Designation (MSNBC)
    CAIR: Embassy Returns Passport to U.S. Muslim Stuck in Kuwait
    CAIR Seeks Probe of Whether FBI Sought Torture of U.S. Muslim
    CAIR Asks DOJ to Probe Oregon FBI's 'Coercion' of Muslim Citizens
    CAIR: Va. Muslim on No-Fly List Returning to U.S.

    Muslim Group Seeks DOJ Probe of FBI 'Retaliation' in Minnesota
    (WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/13/2013) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called onAttorney General Eric Holder to investigate an apparent act of retaliation against a local community leader by FBI agents at the Minnesota field office.
    CAIR says the alleged retaliation, in the form of an FBI visit to the home of the director of the civil rights group's Minnesota chapter Lori Saroya, followed just two business days after public disclosure by that chapter of an FBI investigation into alleged intimidation tactics used on a local Somali Muslim by two agents.
    In a letter to Attorney General Holder, CAIR National Legal Director Nadhira Al-Khaliliwrote in part:
    "[The FBI agent] later informed CAIR-MN's Civil Rights Director that the purpose of the visit was 'community outreach.' However, upon knowledge and belief, no other neighboring homes were visited during this community outreach effort.
    "When CAIR-MN's [attorney] later called [the agent] and asked if he was assigned to the division's community outreach program, [the agent] responded that he was not and stated that he is a field law enforcement agent who wanted to speak to a member of Ms. Saroya's household for a 'meet and greet.'
    "The FBI has a well-documented history of using community outreach methods as a means to coerce, threaten and intimidate members of the Muslim community. Given the above facts, it is difficult for us to reach any conclusion other than that [the agent's] visit was prompted by what the field office may have perceived as negative media attention. Further, we believe reasonable people can conclude the visit was an attempt to intimidate a highly-regarded community leader."
    Al-Khalili's letter called for a formal investigation of the alleged retaliation and of the FBI's ong

    • CAIR: Muslim Citizen Sentenced to Life Without Air Travel (Oklahoman)
      What's most alarming about Saadiq's ordeal is that the FBI will never have to explain its actions. When it comes to separating Saadiq ­ and many others ­ from family via its ever-growing and always secret watch lists, the FBI is judge, jury and executioner. Saadiq hasn't been indicted, charged or convicted of any crime. And yet the FBI has claimed for itself the power to impose permanent punishment upon Saadiq: life without air travel. -- Gadeir Abbas is Saadiq Long's attorney and on staff with the Council on American-Islamic Relations' headquarters in Washington, D.C. Adam Soltani is executive director of CAIR Oklahoma.
    • Watch: FBI's Invasive Racial Mapping of Muslims, Others
      According to the ACLU, the program profiles Muslims and Arab-Americans in Michigan, African-Americans in Georgia, Chinese and Russian-Americans in California and broad swaths of Latino-American communities in multiple states.
    • Right-Wing Runs with "John Brennan-is-a-Muslim" Theory (Salon)
      A disgraced former FBI agent and anti-Islam activist claims that John Brennan, President Obama's pick to head the CIA, is "unfit for duty" because he just might be a secret Muslim.

    CAIR Community Alert:
    Libyan-Americans Asked to Report Travel Difficulties
    CAIR has been receiving reports of travel difficulties experienced by members of the Libyan-American community. These travelers experience questioning and delays at both border crossings and airports.
    There has been a recent increase in these incidents. If you or someone you know is experiencing similar difficulties, please contact CAIR at (202) 488-8787 and ask to speak to someone in the Civil Rights Department.
    To file a report online, go here.
    To contact the nearest CAIR chapter, go here.

    • CAIR-FL: Florida Bar Opposes Anti-Islam Legislation
      As far as unconstitutionality, the bills offend the separation of powers (found in the Florida Constitution) in that our legislature would be dictating to the trial court how and when to apply foreign laws; it offends the contracts clause (U.S. Constitution) in that they greatly restrict divorcing parties from applying foreign laws in their antenuptial agreements; it offends the Federal Government's exclusive right to set foreign policy in that Florida trial court judges under these bills will have to pass judgment as to whether foreign laws are "the same" as ours, and therefore enforceable in our Courts; and lastly the bills may offend the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in that certain religious, family law-related agreements will not be enforceable unless a Florida trial court judge concludes the governing religious law is the "same" as our own.
    • CAIR: Is the FBI's Muslim Outreach Program a Trojan Horse? (ACLU)
      According to a new complaint filed by CAIR, days later an FBI agent arrived unannounced at the doorstep of its Minneapolis chapter director, Lori Saroya. When later contacted by a CAIR representative, the agent claimed that the purpose of the visit was community outreach. Suspicious—based on the ACLU's reporting on the FBI's misuse of community outreach and the absence of reports that other homes in the community were visited—a CAIR attorney called the agent back.
      • Video: CAIR-MN Rep Interviewed About Activism, Social Change
        For Nausheena Hussain working with the Council on American Islamic Relation Minnesota (CAIR MN) evoked an unparalleled sense of purpose within her. Successful activism resonates on a personal level and, as Hussain describes it, leaves one "praying that their social change is successful." This is precisely what CAIR MN offered her.
    • CAIR: Islamophobe Pamela Geller Won't Leave D.C. Alone (Huff Post)
      "It's a free country, and she's free to be a bigot and a hate-monger if she wants to be," said [CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper]. "We would hope intelligent people would recognize it for the hate-mongering it is and make appropriate conclusions about the motivations of the sponsors."
    • CAIR-OK: Oklahoma City Islamic Society Hires New Youth Director
      "This is the final brick in building the community," said Adam Soltani, executive director of [CAIR-OK], noting that the Islamic Society now has an expanded mosque and a school complex. "The youth are the future and I think that's for any community — they want to hand the community over to young people at some point."
      • CAIR-San Antonio: The Prophet Mohammed from Western Eyes
        The Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, led a hard life even after gaining power and authority. "We the community of the Prophets are not inherited," he said at his death. "Whatever we leave is for charity."
    • DC: Elderly Muslim Hit by Car Remembered as Active in Community (Wash Post)
      On her 94th birthday, she fasted. Aidah Sabir-Jenkins, a Muslim who lived in Northwest Washington, would not let her age, or her failed hearing, or even her inability to speak, keep her from practicing the basic tenets of her faith.